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  • Writer's pictureCathy Melton

You Said What? Why Presentations Fail.

You Said What? Why Presentations Fail

Let's face it, we have all been there. You are conducting a meeting and your presentation goes south. Either the material was boring, the meeting wasn't planned properly, the content was disorganized, or worse yet, incorrect. Knowing how to read a room can give you a clue as to what everyone else is thinking.

The look of shock or surprise. This happens when you are unprepared and say something wrong or inappropriate. Open mouth gasps, large eyerolls looking up or eyes looking down; facial expressions will immediately tell you if you are on the wrong path.

Look of silence is when people redirect their eyes to anything else but to the one whom is speaking. Some will close their eyes with a slight squint. When you lose eye contact, you lose engagement and influence. If this happens, you know you have missed your mark.

The dreaded snicker. Not only can this be embarrassing, but it can also be one of the most difficult reactions to recover from. An unsolicited snicker could suggest you have lost the credibility factor in your presentation. It never feels good to be on the receiving end of snickering.

Here are 10 quick tips to ensure your next presentation is a success.

1) Know the facts by heart.

2) Never read from a power point presentation, nor from notes. Do use an outline to stay on point with your message.

3) A sincere smile goes a long way. Practice smiling while speaking.

4) Engage the audience by asking participants direct questions.

5) Be relatable. Share stories to enhance your presentation. Everyone loves stories, especially those that solved a problem.

6) If you don't know the answer to a problem, say so. Don't "fake it". Say, "I know who has the answer and I'll get back to you with their response." It's the easiest way to move on to the next question.

7) Keep it positive.

8) Keep it short and simple.

9) Enjoy what you are doing.

10) Hire a Public Speaking Coach to help improve your speaking skills.

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